L’Occitane Solidarity Balm for International Women’s Day 2017

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm for International Women’s Day 2017

One of my favourite L’Occitane en Provence products released each year for International Women’s Day is the Solidarity Balm (C$6). This affordable balm uses sustainable and fair trade shea butter, harvested in Burkina Faso by women who are in partnership with L’Occitane. Each year, L’Occitane enlists 17,000 women to help with the harvesting of the Shea Butter range. Lastly, 100% of the profits from the Solidarity Balm go to support the UN Women Fund for Gender Equaltiy.

This year, the Solidarity Balm is beautifully scented with violets. It contains 98% fair trade shea butter, and it has over 50 uses on the body. Some of my favourite uses include as a lip balm, on dry cuticles, as a hand balm, to soothe dry feet, on dry hair to smooth flyaways, and more. I keep this on me when I travel, as it makes a great all-in-one airplane solution for dry skin / lips / hair everything.

You can purchase the Solidarity Balm in stores and online now, for just $6!! For such an amazing price, it’d make a great thank you gift, or stock up to give as stocking stuffers!

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm for International Women’s Day 2017

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

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Oils, oils, oils! A roundup of some face and body oil options from Rodial, May Lindstrom, ILA Spa, Korres, Purxury, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, Nuxe, and Rocky Mountain Soap Co.

I am obsessed with facial and body oils at the moment, specifically focusing on oils with natural ingredients, but open to trying all oils. Through my trial and error, I’ve found up a few of the recent face and body oils that I’ve been using, including products from Rodial, May Lindstrom, Korres, ILA Spa, Purxury, and more. My apologies in advance as I don’t have photos for all of these, some of them I started using before I took photos so the bottle started looking not-so-great, others I just forgot to take photos of.

Face

Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil

Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil review

The Rodial Stemcell Facial Oil contains a powerful cocktail of super-food actives, omega 3, 6 and 9 and vitamins A, B5, C and E, as well as Rose stem cell to help the skin protect against external aggressors, signs of aging, and dehydration. This is one of the most lightweight facial oils that I’ve tried; it dries down immediately, leaving behind a satin feeling that’s very comfortable. It’s a great “beginner’s oil” because it is so lightweight. I remember being scared off by facial oils a few years ago due to using some that were way too heavy, but with the new technology, brands can create products like this that is even great for those with combination to oily skin.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Almond Oil PEG-8 Esters, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Babassu Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peach Kernel Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylene Glycol, Retinyl Palmitate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Isomalt, Lactic Acid, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethylionone, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Limonene, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Geraniol, Tocopherol.

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew review

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew was something I purchased in my first ever May Lindstrom order (I’ve since made two more… so you know how obsessed I am with the brand). This is the most completely organic  skin oil made from entirely natural plant extracts and oils that I’ve ever seen. It is a blend of 20 different oils and essential oils, together with CoEnzyme Q10, to help fight signs of aging. For easier absorption, May recommends using it on dampened skin, so I usually like to spray my face with 1-2 spritzes of May’s The Jasmine Garden, or another essence spray, and then patting 1-1.5 pumps of this oil into my face and neck. I’m left with crazy soft, very hydrated, and extremely bouncy skin. It’s not too heavy for me at all either, especially when used over damp skin which helps absorption. I only use this at night though, because I do feel like facial oils don’t layer best under makeup, but I have used a tiny drop of this mixed with my daytime moisturizer and it still works well.

Despite all the great stuff, it is one of the most expensive oils on this list, priced at US$120 for just 20mL (1/3 less than most other facial oils)… It is luxurious, but comes with a hefty price tag.

Ingredients: *Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil, *Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Prunus Spp (Plum Kernel) Oil, *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, *Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip Seed) Oil, *Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, *Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, *Borago Ocinalis (Borage Seed) Oil, Aleurites Moluccans (Kukui Nut) Oil, *Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Essential Oil, *Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, *Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, *Citrus Limon (Lemon) Essential Oil, *Rosa Damascena (Rose Absolute) Essential Oil, *Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Essential Oil, *Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Essential Oil, ***Daucus Carota (Carrot Seed) Essential Oil, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10).

*Certified Organic
***Wild Harvested

ILA Spa Face Oil for Glowing Radiance

I have a deluxe travel size of this oil and this is what I take with me when I travel. The rich argan, rosehip, and rose otto formula is incredibly hydrating and soothing, especially when you’re staying in an air conditioned room which tends to really dry out my skin. The rich formula helps to protect and nourish my skin. It absorbs completely in under a minute, and also layers wonderfully over other products. I can add a pump of it to my mud masks in order to add extra nourishment when my skin needs it. It has a soft rose scent, which is truly wonderful and helps to put me to sleep.

I only wear this at night though, as I find it is too heavy for the daytime. Alternatively if my skin is feeling extra dry, I mix a tiny bit into my daytime moisturizer to add that boost. This is also great for when you are flying as the dry cabin air can really wreck havoc on skin. Overall, I love this, and you can purchase it from my favourite organic e-tailer, Petal and Post.

Ingredients: Wild-Grown Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa Kernal), Rosehip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina), Sandalwood (Santalam Spicatum), Rose Otto Oil (Rose Damascena Flower Oil), Vitamin E Oil (Tocopherol Extract), Naturally Occurring Citronellol, Farnesol, Linalool

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil review

The Korres Wild Rose Brightening Oil is such a beauty as it contains real rose petals suspended in the oil. This is a brightening oil infused with real rose petals, wild rose oil, and boosted with Super C to increase skin’s absorpotion of vitamin C by 1000%. This oil is 94.5 percent natural, and does not contain petrolatum, mineral oil, silicones, propylene glycol, and ethanolamines. Korres is also cruelty free.

If you love roses like me, then you will LOVE this because it smells faintly like roses. I also found this oil to take longer than the others to absorb, and a tiny bit will go a very long way. I don’t particularly like this one compared to the others for this reason. Also despite it being marketed as a natural oil, it contains a lot of fillers, which I’m not too fond of at the moment.

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil review

Ingredients: Isoamyl Laurate, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, , Prunus Armeniaca (apricot) Kernel Oil, Squalane, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rosa Gallica Flower Powder, Alcohol Denat., Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Aqua/water/eau, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Bisabolol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Parfum/fragrance, Physalis Angulata Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Zingiber Officinale (ginger) Root Extract.

Purxury Rescue Facial Oil

Purxury Rescue Facial Oil review

Purxury Rescue Facial Oil is my newest addition, something I discovered in my journey to incorporate more natural and organic skincare products in my routine. It contains a blend of all natural oils and extracts that is ultra hydrating. The base of apricot kernel oil, avocado fruit oil, and argan oil makes this slightly heavier than the other oils I’ve tried here, but it is also the most moisturizing. I can use this on its own without a hydrating serum, and it leaves my skin feeling super soft and glowy upon waking up in the morning.

Ingredients: Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Fruit Oil, Olive, Argan Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a proprietary blend of Essential Oils and Absolutes.

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate

Kiehl’s released their daytime version of their popular Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I’m not a big fan of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate because I found it is too heavy for me, but the Daily Reviving Concentrate is a great day-time, more lightweight version. This product contains energizing oils such as ginger root oil, grapefruit peel oil, orange peel oil, and coriander seed oil to  correct the signs of daily skin fatigue, and improve the look of dullness, lines, and rough texture.

Sadly, despite this being a lighter version of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, it’s a daytime oil which doesn’t really work for my skincare schedule. I don’t really have a lot of time in the morning to let my moisturizing sink in, so I usually use a lighter, gel-based moisturizer. This Daily Reviving Concentrate, while really does help to brighten and hydrate my skin, just takes too long to absorb. I do use this on the weekend, but I think it’s a bit of a waste to use just a day or two a week, so I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have lots of time in the morning to perform your skincare ritual.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Canola Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil Unsaponifiables/Sunflower Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Tocopherol, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil/Orange Peel Oil, Coriandrum Sativum Seed Oil/Coriander Seed Oil, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis Peel Oil/Grapefruit Peel Oil, Zingiber Officinale Root Oil/Ginger Root Oil, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol, Malpighia Punicifolia/Acerola Fruit Extract. Fmla 685687 7 F.I.L. Code D169070/2

Body

L’Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil

L'Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil review

The Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil  is an ultra lightweight body oil; I’ve used a few L’Occitane en Provence body oils in the past and this is the most lightweight. I have very dry skin on my legs, and I find that this isn’t moisturizing enough for me, I usually have to apply a LOT in order to get the level of sustained moisture. That being said, if you are someone who has normal skin, and is looking for an indulgence, this is it because it smells SO GOOD. Neroli & Orchidee is one of my favourite L’Occitane scents and this perfumed body oil is the same scent as the fragrance, which makes it great for layering with the fragrance and then you can get better longevity.

The scent, when used alone and at night, dissipates pretty quickly so you don’t have to worry about going to sleep in a cloud of perfume. During the day though, it does leave a faint cloud of fragrance, but it’s not very strong so it should be fine for wearing to the office. It comes in a spray bottle, so you can easily keep this at the office or in your purse for when you want a quick moisture touchup.

Ingredients:
L'Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil review

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse review

The NUXE Huile Prodigieuse is a classic body oil and something EVERYONE should try at least once in their life. It contains Vitamin E to protects and conditions, and essential oil extracts of borage, St. John’s wort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia to give skin a healthy looking glow. There’s a reason why it is a cult favourite, and that it is  super hydrating, very lightweight, and a little bit goes a long way. The scent is also just incredibly delicious and decadent, I feel like dousing myself with this every time I use it. The great thing about this oil is that it is also multi-functional, and you can use this on your hair, nails, and anywhere you see fit. In addition, it also comes in a golden bronze variation that will help keep your skin looking like it just got a healthy dose of sun.

Ingredients: Sopropyl Isostearate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Coco-caprylate/caprate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet Almond) Oil, Corylus Avellana (hazel) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Parfum/fragrance, Tocopherol, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Flower/leaf/stem Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (tomato) Fruit/leaf/stem Extract, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool [n1005/e].

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Blossom Berry Body Oil

Leaving the best for last – this is the body oil that got me completely obsessed with body oils in the first place. The Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Blossom Berry Body Oil smells SO GOOD, sweet and floral at the same time but not overpowering. The oil is medium weight, not super runny, and spreads into the skin very nicely. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling so nice and soft. The price is really great too, at just $15.50 for 125mL. Don’t let the size fool you, because I’ve had mine for over a year, I use this every time my skin is feeling dry, and I still have more than 1/3 of the bottle left. I also love mixing this in with another light weight body lotion to help boost up its efficacy.

Ingredients: Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Camelia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Natural Jasmine Gardenia Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Natural Vanilla Oil, Natural Berry Oil . *Organic 94%

 

My picks: Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil, ILA Spa Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, May Lindstrom The Youth Dew, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Body Oil
Best for dry/normal skin: May Lindstrom The Youth Dew, ILA Spa Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, Purxury Rescue Facial Oil, Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Blossom Berry Body Oil, NUXE Huile Prodigieuse
Best for combination/oily skin: Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil, L’Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil

Experience the holiday joy with limited edition collaborations from L’Occitane en Provence and Kiehl’s since 1851

L’Occitane en Provence x Pierre Herme

L'Occitane en Provence Pierre Herme review

This holiday season, one of my favourite brands L’Occitane en Provence has partnered with Parisian pastry master Pierre Herme to create three signature scents. I’ve had Pierre Herme macarons before and I have to say I prefer them over Laduree ones, which is the more famous of the two macaron shops. The Pierre Herme collection by L’Occitane is comprised of scents Jasmine-Immortelle-Neroli, Grapefruit-Rhurbarb, and Honey-Mandarin.

Jasmine-Immortelle-Neroli, is a beautiful feminine scent with head notes of pink pepper, petit grain and lemon, heart of jasmine, immortelle flower, neroli and orange blossom, and base notes amber, white wood, and musk. The key ingredients are Immortelle essential oil from Corsica, Jasmine flower absolute, and Neroli essence.

Grapefruit-Rhubarb is a light, refreshing scent that smells amazing on almost anyone. It’s slightly sweet, but not overpowering. It has head notes of grapefruit, rhubarb, lemon and cypress, heart of clove, nutmeg and lavandin, and base notes of cedar and vetiver. The key ingredients are Grapefruit Essence from Corsica and Rhubarb accord.

Honey-Mandarin is only available online and only as a hand cream. It’s scented lightly of honey and mandarin, and is not sickly sweet or overpowering. L’Occitane hand creams are among my favourites and this scent is a wonderful addition to the hand cream line (even though it is limited edition!).

L'Occitane en Provence Pierre Herme review

Both Jasmine-Immortelle-Neroli and Grapefruit-Rhubarb are available now in an Eau de Toilette (C$65 for 75ml), Body Milk (C$32 for 250ml), Shower Gel (C$22 for 250ml), and Hand Cream (C$12 for 30ml). There are also gift sets available for those two scents, one being a set with a hand cream, lip balm and soap for C$26. The set that I highly recommend (and only available in store), is a pre-wrapped gift that contains a full size Eau de Toilette, Body Milk and Soap, and a travel size Shower Gel for C$80, of which $10 goes towards Dress for Success. The Honey-Mandarin is only available in the hand cream.

L'Occitane en Provence Pierre Herme review

Kiehl’s since 1851 x Peter Max

Kiehl's since 1851 x Peter Max

Every holiday, Kiehl’s does a limited edition artist collaboration and this year the artist they’ve chosen to work with is Peter Max. The artwork created by Peter Max will be packaged on all of Kiehl’s most iconic products.

The Kiehl’s x Peter Max collection is available now in the Creme de Corps (C$38 for 250mL or C$63 for 500mL), Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter (C$46 for 226g), Ultra Facial Cream (C$56 for 125mL), new Richly Hydrating Hand Creams (C$22 for set of three), and Kiehl’s Lip Balm set (C$38 for set of four), as well as a variety of holiday gift boxes ready to wrap your own selection of Kiehl’s products. The Hand Cream and Lip Balm sets make great hostess gifts, and in purchasing these products, you are also supporting the artist community.

Keeping skin sweet and smooth with L’Occitane en Provence Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars, Ultra Soft Cream, and Hand Cream with shea butter

L'Occitane en Provence Melting Honey shea butter collection

For October, L’Occitane en Provence is introducing a new line of Shea Butter products – Melting Honey – combining the moisturizing benefits of shea butter from Burkina Faso with the softening properties of honey from Provence. First off, this line smells absolutely divine. If you are a fan of sweet decadent scents, then you will love this. Secondly, this is L’Occitane’s annual Shea Butter collection where all proceeds from sales of the limited edition Shea Butter Gentle Soap go to benefit the women of Burkina Faso.

The three products I have to share are the Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars, Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream, and Melting Honey Hand Cream.

L'Occitane en Provence Melting Honey shea butter collection

Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars contains 5% shea butter, honey, and uses natural exfoliants sugar crystals and ground walnut shells to gently exfoliate the skin will keeping it supple. The texture is like a melting balm and feels incredibly rich and creamy on the skin. I’m a fan of L’Occitane’s exfoliators because I find that the exfoliants don’t melt as fast as other exfoliators I’ve tried, and this one is the same. The sugar and walnut shell mixture ensures that I have enough time to massage this into my skin, leaving my skin feeling silky smooth.

L'Occitane Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars review

Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream is a light, whipped body cream containing 10% shea butter and honey. This is my favourite of the bunch and one that I’ve already used up in just a few short weeks! It is a beautifully soft cream that glides on the skin like a dream, absorbing quickly, and leaving a light trail of the sweet honey scent. It leaves my skin feeling super soft and hydrated, without a sticky after-feeling. I absolutely love the L’Occitane Ultra Soft Cream formula because it is so lighweight but packs a punch in terms of hydration. Definitely recommend for those who aren’t fans of moisturizing but have dry skin.

L'Occitane Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream review

Melting Honey Hand Cream contains 25% shea butter, combined with honey, to create one of my favourite variations of the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. This is my least favourite of the three here, not because of the formula (which is divine, as always), but because of the overwhelmingly sweet scent.  I prefer lightly scented hand creams because I tend to apply a lot of it and apply often, so when it’s too heavily scented then it’s almost headache inducing. Despite this, I truly love this formula and also enjoy collecting limited edition scents of the Shea Butter Hand Cream. It’s my #1 recommended hand cream for those with dry skin, so if you like honey or sweet scented products and have dry skin, this is the hand cream for you!

L'Occitane Melting Honey Hand Cream review

The one downside I can think of is that depending on the product, the honey scent is quite overwhelmingly sweet, which I’m not too fond of. Otherwise, I really like these products and would recommend them to anyone looking for luxury bath and body products and also love the honey scent.

You should be able to find the Melting Honey collection in stores and online at L’Occitane en Provence as of October, 2015.

Ingredients:

Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars ingredients
L'Occitane Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars ingredients

Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream ingredients

L'Occitane Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream ingredients

Men’s care review: L’Occitane en Provence Cedrat Global Face Gel and Cedrat Shaving Gel

L'Occitane en Provence Cedrat review

Today I have another guest review on men’s care products. The L’Occitane en Provence new Cedrat range is luxury skincare for men that is simple and straightforward to use, but works like a charm.

L’Occitane en Provence Cedrat Global Face Gel

L'Occitane en Provence Cedrat Global Face Gel review

The Cedrat Global Face Gel (C$42) is a new men’s facial moisturizer from L’Occitane. It claims to have three benefits:

  1. HYDRATES: it provides hydration and protection to the skin without leaving a greasy film.
  2. MATTIFIES: immediately helps to refine skin texture and neutralize excess sebum throughout the day.
  3. ENERGIZES: helps revitalize the skin and visibly reduce signs of fatigue.

As someone with dry skin this face gel was a wonderful.  The best way I could describe my experience would be jumping into a nice cool pool on a hot summer day.

I love that it provides my dry skin with good hydration without any greasy residue or feeling of stickiness. The pump dispenser is easy to use and provides the right amount of product for each application. The face gel is very lightweight, which helps it spread easily. A little bit goes a long way, even on my dry skin, so a 50mL bottle will last you a long time. Lastly, I love that it has a light, masculine scent that lingers just for a little bit, but isn’t too overpowering.

The downside is that because it is a luxury brand, it’s quite pricey at C$42 for 50mL. Despite that, I really like this moisturizer as it helps my skin feel more comfortable and hydrated, and thus I would repurchase.

Ingredients:

L'Occitane en Provence Cedrat Global Face Gel ingredients

L’Occitane en Provence Cedrat Shaving Gel

L'Occitane en Provence Cedrat Shaving Gel review

The new Cedrat Shaving Gel (C$20) claims to protect the skin from the razor blade and helps reduce the sensation of irritation and tightness, and it is enriched with organic Corsican cedrat extract, leaving the skin clear, soft and energized.

Overall it’s a very solid choice for a shaving product.  Compared to all other shaving gel products this one has been my favorite.  It was easy to apply and spread.  Once I was finished my skin felt relaxed.

I like that it has a light, refreshing scent. The texture is great once applied; it’s cooling gel that helps to sooth my dry skin. I also like that the ingredients really don’t irritate the skin (which is common, especially when its aggravated via the act of shaving). Of course, the shave itself is smooth and it helps to give me a closer shave as well.

My dislikes were that the pump dispenser would dispense too much product each time, and I find that I’m wasting product whenever I use this. It’s also expensive for a shave gel, which is just made worse by the fact that some gel goes to waste each time.

Ultimately, I like this product and would likely repurchase, and in the meantime, I’ll continue to search for a better option that provides the soothing and refreshing feeling, without the hefty price tag.

This post was written by Barrie

Review: L’Occitane en Provence Almond Velvet Serum for the Body

L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum review

Today I’m reviewing my first ever body serum, the Almond Velvet Serum by L’Occitane en Provence, newly release for spring 2015. This body serum claims to improve five different skin concerns for the body:  dryness, skin slackening, lack of tonicity, fine lines and skin irregularities. It’s formulated with four different components of sweet almond – the oil, seed extract, leaf cell extract, and bud extract, all sourced from the south of France, as well as rosa centifolia (provence rose) bud extract.

The L’Occitane Almond Velvet Serum (C$52) is truly a luxury product. From the heavy glass bottle to the silky rich texture, it just feels like an expensive product that’s a pleasure to use. It has the texture of a gel-lotion with a light powdery-floral scent that dissipates quickly after a few minutes. I’ve been using this off-and-on for a few weeks (mostly after gym workouts when I could benefit most from additional skin toning), and I’m on the fence about it. I haven’t noticed any tightening of the skin, or relief from fine lines or stretch marks. It does leave my skin feeling silky smooth and very nicely hydrated, diminishing the appearance of any skin concerns but not eradicating them.

My biggest concern with this product is that it’s quite pricey. It is a body serum, and you get 100mL of product for C$52. I was applying this on my whole body before but I ended up using about 10 pumps, which is the equivalent of approximately 1.5cm shaved off the top of the bottle. I went through this stuff very quickly, to say the least. I ended up just applying it to placed where I needed more toning, such as my thighs, stomach, and upper arm area – this definitely helped me cut down on the amount of product I used.

It does contain a lot of good ingredients, so I can see why it’s so expensive, but I don’t think I will repurchase because I will probably go through many bottles of this before seeing real results. As such, unless you have a lot of money to burn, I wouldn’t recommend this product. The texture is really lovely but I really can’t justify the price, given how fast I went through the bottle.

Ingredients:

L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum ingredients
L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum review
L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum review

Spring fragrance feature – L’Occitane en Provence Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc

L'Occitane Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc review

New for Spring 2015 is L’Occitane en Provence‘s Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc, joining La Collection de Grasse family.

With top notes of blackcurrant and citrus, heart notes of white iris and peach, and base notes of blue iris, cedar, and white musk, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is a fresh floral with a hint of romance. The image that’s invoked in my head while I wear this is a fun weekend frolic in a flower field – no joke. Even though it has fruity scents in it, I pick up mostly floral. The blackcurrant and citrus are barely noticeable, acting almost like a foil to the iris floral scents. It’s one of the longer-wearing fragrances in La Collection de Grasse, due to the deeper base notes; I found that this lasted upwards of 5 hours or more on me, dissipating but never disappearing.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc review

The packaging is one of my absolute favourites. It is an extremely beautiful, simplistic yet luxurious glass bottle with a gold etched back and a gold cap. It looks amazing on my vanity alongside my other La Collection de Grasse bottles, but it stands out because of the beautiful violet colour of the perfume against the gold backdrop.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc review

In addition to the Eau de Toilette (C$75), it is also available in a Body Milk (C$32) which is a favourite new discovery from L’Occitane. The texture of the Body Milk is richer than the ones I’ve used in the past, and feels extremely luxurious on the skin. The Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc scent, translated into the Body Milk, has a stronger musk base that complements the Eau de Toilette very well. You can also find Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc in a Shower Gel (C$26), Hand Cream (C$12), and Perfumed Soap (C$8).

Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is available now in stores and online at L’Occitane en Provence.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc review
L'Occitane Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc review
L'Occitane Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc review

Getting your body summer-ready with L’Occitane Whipped Body Cream, Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk, and Nivea Nourishing In-Shower Body Milk

Summer is coming! That means it’s time to prep our body for the beach. Apart from exercising and looking awesome, it’s important to also take care of your skin so that you can have glowy and smooth legs in that mini skirt. Today I’m reviewing three body lotions that I’ve really enjoyed using – L’Occitane Whipped Body Cream, Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk, and Nivea Nourishing In-Shower Body Milk.

L’Occitane Whipped Body Cream

L'Occitane Whipped Body Cream review

You know that L’Occitane makes some of my absolute favourite body products, and this one is no exception. Containing 10% shea butter, this Whipped Body Cream (C$28) has the consistency of thick whipped cream and just melts into the skin. It leaves my body feeling ultra soft and smooth, and keeps those scaly looking legs away just in time for summer. It’s just very lightly scented of their usual shea butter fragrance, making it a delightful experience to use after a nice shower at night. Of the three body lotions reviewed today, this one is the most moisturizing and would be best suited for night-time use. It also comes in a Whipped Shea Butter Hand Cream (C$12) formula that’s also very lightweight, but still has that same shea butter moisturizing property.

L’Occitane uses sustainable shea butter from Burkina Faso, harvested in a fair trade partnership with the women who produce it, so you know you’re directly supporting these women whenever you purchase a shea butter product from L’Occitane. You can purchase the Whipped Body Cream at L’Occitane boutiques as well as online.

L'Occitane Whipped Body Cream review

Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk

Vichy Ideal Body Milk review

The Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk (C$22.50) is new for 2015. A body milk designed to smooth and hydrate the skin, it contains Apricot kernel, Passionflower, Corn, Rice Bran, Sunflower, Blackcurrant Pips, Rosehip, Coriander, Macadamia and Jojoba oils combined with LHA. The texture is more of a liquid gel than a milk. It’s very lightweight, but doesn’t absorb immediately so you have time to massage it in your skin for a more toning effect. It leaves my skin slightly tacky, so you will need to let it “air out” a bit before putting on clothes. My skin does feel super moisturized, soft, and smooth once everything has absorbed.

Of these three body lotions, this one is most suited for day time/pre-beach use because it contains micro shimmers to create the look of luminous skin, which would look great for the day (otherwise no one will see it when you’re in PJs!). Personally I’m not a fan of micro shimmers in skincare products, so I wouldn’t repurchase this again, but if you don’t mind that kind of look, this is a great body lotion to look into.

You can purchase the Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk at London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, and other places that carry Vichy.

Nivea Nourishing In-Shower Body Milk

Nivea In-Shower Body Milk review

The Nivea In-Shower Body Milk (C$7.99) is one of the coolest innovations of 2015. It a body milk you apply after washing your body with shower gel, and then you rinse off before you get out of the shower. This version, designed for the driest of skins, contains almond oil for the deepest hydration; it also has has a formula for dry skin, as well as for normal to dry skin. As someone who spends a lot of time massaging in body lotion after a shower, this is actually super convenient and great for early morning or post-gym rush showers. Of the three body lotions, this one is the most suitable for use any time, but especially if you’re in a rush and don’t have the time or the space to slowly massage in body lotion, for example during the morning rush or after a workout session at the gym.

The only thing I really dislike about this in-shower body milk is that I feel like it leaves a slippery residue on the bottom of my tub from the wax/mineral oil. It’s not too bad on its own, except that soap and other gunk will eventually stick to the residue and you end up having to deep scrub your tub more often than if you weren’t using this. Other than that, it really works like its advertised – my skin feels moisturized enough that I don’t need to use a separate body lotion after.

You can purchase the Nivea Nourishing In-Shower Body Milk at London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, and other places that carry Nivea.

Ingredients:

Nivea In-Shower Body Milk review

Beautiful bottles & beautiful scents – My Burberry EDP, Giorgio Armani Si EDP, and L’Occitane en Provence Arlesienne EDT

I love collecting beautiful perfume bottles. I rarely wear perfume, just because I work in an office so I like to respect the people using the space around me, but I enjoy spritzing various scents on weekends, or just looking at the perfume bottles sitting nicely on my vanity. Today I’m sharing with you some of the recent fragrance discoveries that have the most beautiful bottles.

My Burberry

My Burberry review

My Burberry (C$98 for 50mL) was inspired by the classic Burberry trench coat and its British heritage. With notes of Sweat Pea, Bergamot, Gernium, Golden Quince, Freesia, Patchouli, Rain-Tipped Damas,, and Centifolia Roses, the scent is elegant and classy. Of the three presented here, this is my least favourite because I have a hard time putting a finger on exactly what I’m smelling. The notes all kind of meddle together, which is confusing and something I’m not a huge fan of in fragrances.

My Burberry review

The packaging itself is gorgeous – housed in a rectangular glass bottle with topper that’s inspired by the buttons on a trench coat. The fabric ribbon that’s used to tie around the neck of the bottle is the same ribbon used in stores to accent customer purchases, so the experience is very authentic. If you can’t justify the high price tag of the Burberry trench coat, this is a great alternative to get that Burberry experience.

My favourite Burberry fragrance is Burberry Body, so I recommend you check that one out as well!

My Burberry review

Giorgio Armani Si

Armani Si review

Armani Si ($95 for 50mL) is my favourite of the three perfumes. It has top notes of blackcurrant nectar (cassis), with middle notes of freesia and may rose, and base notes of vanilla, patchouli, and musky wood. It is what I call an adult fruity scent – the blackcurrant nectar delivers the fruity but the rest of the notes compliment and darken the blackcurrant nectar. The result is a warm, happy scent that is ultra long lasting and sophisticated. Cate Blanchett is the spokesmodel for Si, and I cannot think of a person who better represents the spirit of Si as well as she does.

The bottle design is simplicity as its best. The tall, rectangular glass bottle with the black stone topper, simply engraved with the words Si and Giorgio Armani, looks modern and refined on the vanity-top. If you love fruity fragrances but don’t like the sweetness that usually comes with a fruity scent, this one is worth a look.

L’Occitane en Provence Arlesienne

L'Occitane Arlesienne review

Arlesienne (C$48 for 75mL) by L’Occitane en Provence was introduced for the holiday season last year. It is named after and inspired by Arlesienne, women from the Arles region of Provence in France. With top notes of saffron and mandarin orange, middle notes of rose and lily of the valley, and base notes of violet, sandalwood, and tonka beans, this scent is a bright floral. On first sniff, it is very obviously rosy, but then I get more of the mandarin orange in there to become a citrus-floral. While this scent is beautiful, it doesn’t last very long (as with most other L’Occitane fragrances I’ve tried), dissipating completely on me after 3-4 hours of wear. The good thing is a large bottle of this is relatively inexpensive, so you can keep on spritzing this throughout the day.

I love the glass bottle of this; it is extremely feminine-looking and is just beautiful. It is a tall glass bottle with a rose gold topper, and at the back, there are flowers etched into the glass itself.

L'Occitane Arlesienne review

Feature: L’Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier eau de toilette for Valentine’s Day

L’Occitane Fleur de Cerisier

Fleurs de Cerisier (Cherry Blossoms) eau de toilette from L’Occitane de Provence was one of the first products I’ve ever purchased from the brand way back in 2010. For Valentine’s Day 2015, L’Occitane is bringing a new and limited edition version of this classic scent.

Fleur de Cerisier invokes the feeling of spring in my brain. With top notes of blackcurrant and watermelon, it smells so fresh and fruity. I keep thinking I smell lychees upon the first spritz, because the scent is so fresh and crisp. Middle notes include cherry blossoms, violets and rose, and the base note is musky wood.

Sadly, like all L’Occitane scents, this one doesn’t last very long. It starts off strong for the first hour or so, making me afraid to apply too much. Then after the first hour it just dissipates, leaving just the memory of the base notes on my skin. I feel like after using so many L’Occitane scents, I start to wonder if it’s just designed this way to give the wearer and the people around it just subtle whiffs of the scent, but then after 3-4 hours, the scent has basically all but disappeared.

If you like fresh and fruity scents that are spring-like and crisp, this scent is for you. I can see myself wearing this endlessly during cherry blossom season in March and April in Vancouver. I can also seeing myself spritzing this all over my room before bed in order to take me to a happy place in my dreams. Lastly, this fragrance is boyfriend approved as it smells fresh and young (sadly, unlike those rose fragrances I love so dearly).

L’Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier eau de toilette is priced at C$45 for 50mL and is available now for a limited time at L’Occitane de Provence boutiques and online.

L’Occitane Fleur de Cerisier
L’Occitane Fleur de Cerisier
L’Occitane Fleur de Cerisier